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RevolutionSF Remembers William Hootkins
Revolution News
© Bryan Crowson, Joe Crowe
October 31, 2005

William Hootkins, best known as Porkins in Star Wars, has died. He was 57.

The actor was most famous as Red Six in Star Wars, but he appeared in tons of geek-centric flicks:

Flash Gordon (1980) as Munson: "Dr. Zarkov! There's no sun! It's 8:24 in the morning, and there's no sun!"

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) as Major Eaton. "You mean THE Ten Commandments?"

Batman (1989) as Lt. Eckhart. "I say you're full of shit, Knox. Oh, uh, you can quote me on that."

He was also in The NeverEnding Story III, 1996's The Island of Dr. Moreau, and he was Col. Cobb in five episodes of the British SF series The Tomorrow People. He guest-starred on numerous TV series, from Cagney & Lacey to the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

He was also a busy voice actor for video games. He played nearly two dozen voices in EverQuest II.

But he is best remembered as Porkins, a friend of Biggs Darklighter who died during the Battle of Yavin in Star Wars. A weapon malfunction led to him getting blasted by an Imperial weapons bank.

Porkins got his own action figure. He was a cult favorite character among the dozens and dozens of small Star Wars character roles.

Here's Star Wars zealot Bryan Crowson:

To me, Porkins represented the "everyman" in Star Wars.

He wasn't the typical trim, young hero you'd expect to see fighting the big battle. He's regular guy, bearded, a burly bear of a man, the kind of fellow you'd have a beer with. And there he was, in the thick of things, laying his life on the line to do what was right.

He demonstrated that heroism isn't just for the guys who look like heroes. His contribution to Star Wars is to make us feel like we could have been there, too. That's why everyone remembers him.

May the Force be with you, William Hootkins. We hardly knew you, but we felt like we did.

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